Monday, July 18, 2016

A visit to hallowed ground and an epiphany...

 A short ten minute drive from the little town of Littleton is the small town of Concord.  You may remember Concord from your history lessons.  Growing up in the 1950’s, with World War II still very fresh in our minds, the cold war heating up and the space race just starting, the American Revolutionary War was a very important lesson to learn because the American Revolution defined who we were to become as a country.

At Concord on April 19th 1775 at about 9:30 in the morning, the tipping point that changed Western Civilization took place -- the pinnacle of all the events leading up to the establishment of the greatest country the world has ever seen.

We have all learned that England was treating her colonies very shabbily and the people who lived here were second class citizens.  To keep her subjects under her thumb, England went so far as to occupy the city of Boston, then the most wealthy city in the New World. The military governor, wanting to make sure he could suppress the colonists further, sent troops to confiscate the people’s weapons.  The Americans knew that if this happened, there would be no hope at all in bettering their lives, that indentured servitude was forever to be their lot. 


On these hills west of the bridge the Minute Men arrived from their farms and began to form ranks.

You all know of Paul Revere’s ride on the night of the 18th to warn the people west of Boston that English troops were on the way.  At 5 in the morning of the 19th in a town just east of Concord called Lexington, the first eight Americans fell dead at the weapons of the most powerful army in the world at that time.  The alerted Americans began to gather in larger numbers on the hills overlooking North Bridge on a rural road near Concord.  Never before had a command to fire on His Majesty’s troops ever been given and everyone knew that to do so would mean treason against the crown and that you could not go back, that fight or die was to now be their lot. 
 This is the road on the west side of North Bridge which leads to Colonel Barrett's house.  The colonel's house was the target of the British army to confiscate his weapons.

A view from the bridge.

On one side of the bridge the English army deployed in combat ranks.  On the other side the Americans stood in their way.  No command to fire was given but one nervous British soldier put his finger on his trigger and the Brown Bess musket roared and other British did likewise and two Americans fell.  “For God’s sake, fire!” yelled the American captain.  The treasonous command would become known as the “shot heard round the world.”

 From this spot the Americans gathered and watched the British arrive at the bridge and start to form ranks of combat.
 Across the road from the Minute Man National Historic Park are the remains of foundations of houses whose inhabitants witnessed the confrontation that would start the process of nation building.

I never realized it until yesterday visiting this hallowed monument that the immediate cause of the American Revolution, the tipping point to all the struggles up to that point was gun control. 

I hope that our leaders have studied their history.


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